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ASU water polo falls to Canada

January 25, 2011

The Arizona State University water polo team opened a three-game scrimmage series with the Canadian National Team on Monday night at the Mona Plummer Aquatic Center in Tempe with the world’s second-ranked team scoring a 12-6 victory over the host Sun Devils. Despite the score, the Sun Devils hung tough with the Canadians throughout the first half, trailing their guests by a 4-3 score.

Although Canada broke the game open in the third quarter with six goals (ASU had two), the Sun Devils, ranked No. 9 in the preseason collegiate polls, continued to battle and work on their game. They were able to do so as rookie goalie Ianeta Hutchinson stopped 12 shots on the night, including four each in the first and second quarters, to anchor her team’s performance. Hutchinson also added three saves in the fourth quarter, including a nice stop on a breakaway attempt by the visitors.

In the first quarter, Canada jumped out to a 1-0 lead on a goal by Dominique Perreault, but the Sun Devils answered back 14 seconds later as Lynlee Smith netted a cross-cage shot. Both teams were unable to score again until there were 52 seconds remaining in the quarter as Sophie Baron La Salle scored on skip shot to make it 2-1, but ASU responded again by drawing an exclusion with six remaining. With the 6-on-5 advantage, Smith once again found the back of the net with three ticks remaining to tie the score at 2-2 through one quarter of play.

The second quarter opened with both teams attempting to score but both goalies stopping those chances. Then, with 5:55 remaining, Sarah Harris put her name in the scoring ledger as she rose up from six meters out and scored on a blistering shot to give ASU a 3-2 lead. Canada tied the game at 3-3 with 3:04 remaining on Aicha Bouharira’s counter attack score and then took the lead with 1:53 remaining on Perreault’s second tally, this time on the 6-on-5 advantage. With that score, ASU trailed, 4-3.

Canada took over the game in the third quarter, however, as they added six goals. Stephanie Valin scored 28 seconds into the quarter on an outside shot before Harris connected on a penalty shot to make it 5-4. But, Canada added two more goals, including one just 17 seconds after Harris’ score, to make it 7-4. Bella Morrison made it 7-5 with her goal into the low corner with 4:40 remaining, but the guests responded with three more goals, including two in the final minute of play for a 10-5 lead.

The final quarter of play say ASU score first as Shannon Haas converted a tip-in shot off a pass from Mariam Salloum with 7:06 remaining, but that was all the scoring for the Sun Devils on the night. Canada added two more goals, including one with seven seconds remaining in the game, for the 12-6 final.

Both Harris and Smith netted two goals each to lead the offense while Haas and Morrison added one each. Canada was led by Perreault’s hat-trick while Bouharira, Rosanna Tomiuk and Christine Robinson each added two. Defensively, Hutchinson and her counterpart, Rachel Riddell, each stopped 12 shots on the night.

ASU and Canada continue their three game scrimmage set on Tuesday night at 6 p.m. at the Mona Plummer Aquatic Center and conclude the series Wednesday night at 6 p.m. Admission is free to both games.

Canada def. Arizona State, 12-6
- 2 - 2 - 6 - 2 = 12
- 2 - 1 - 2 - 1 = 6

CAN: Perreault 3, Bouharira 2, Robinson 2, Tomiuk 2, Baron La Salle, Crook, Valin
ASU: Harris 2, Smith 2, Haas, Morrison

: Riddell 12
ASU: Hutchinson 12